According to evidence before the Commission, the projected amount for projects in 2021 was over 32 million dalasis. The Commission also noted that the Basse Area Council loaned over 15 million dalasis from the banks in 2021, which was not part of the council’s budget.
The former CEO stated that it was due to poor planning. “The major problem we had was poor planning,” he said.
Witness Touray said some of the loans were brought to the knowledge of the General Council but some were not.
“For overdrafts at the bank, we didn’t inform the General Council,” he testified.
He informed the Commission that they used present asset documents as collateral for the loans at the banks.
Again, Mr Touray deliberated that the council gave him a power of attorney to seek loans. However, Lead Counsel Yakarr Cox asked the witness to explain what sense it made for the council to give him a power of attorney to carry out tasks that were already part of his job. The witness could not answer the question.
Counsel Cox stated that the job of a council CEO includes signing contracts on behalf of the council.
The witness answered that the power of attorney was from the General Council and he could not tell who advised them to give him the power of attorney.
Vice Chairperson Samba Faal later interjected, asking: “Don’t you think a council resolution would have been enough than having a power of attorney?”
Mr Touray reacted to the statement, saying: “Yes, a council resolution was enough. It was all due to lack of proper advice because we should have stopped at council resolution to secure loans.”
Touray also asserted that the actual 2022 budget was not completed until 2023.